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Make Christmas meaningful with great reads

Sunday, November 25, 2012
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, a seasonal classic.

December madness is just around the corner, but it’s a perfect month to take the plunge and either start or join a book club. December is the time for parties and holiday limes and that makes it perfect for a book club—provided you choose the right book. The Sunday Arts Section (SAS) Book Club will feature Les Misérables for the month of December. Here are some other ideas to jumpstart your December book club.

• A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is the perfect time to revisit the Christmas classic. A Christmas Carol makes the perfect holiday read reminding us of Christmas values that are slipping away.
• Very Merry Cookie Party: How to Plan and Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange by Virginia Van Vynct or Good Housekeeping The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook: 60 Large-Batch Recipes to Bake and Share by the Editors of Good Housekeeping
Download a Christmas Cookie Exchange Book on your Kindle or computer and jump-start your book club with food. Everyone makes a different recipe from the book, brings the cookies to the book club and comes back with as many different cookies as you have members. It will save you time in the kitchen, give you time to spend with friends and hook your friends on a book club, propelling you towards a new year of more serious reading.
• Everyone reads a different book
If the holiday seems too hectic, and your friends are too unwilling to get on the same page in a new book, try encouraging them to come for food and a good lime by bringing the book they’re currently reading. Each invited guest talks about his or her own book. It’s a holiday lime with a purpose (there can be a purpose to a lime!) and it’s a good way to spark interest in a new book for your book club in the new year. The best way to discover a good read is to share what you’re reading with friends.
• In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving by Leigh Anne Tuohy, Sean Tuohy and Sally Jenkins
Add new meaning to the Christmas holidays by taking a different direction in life. Learn the art of giving on a whole new level. In 2011, I read this book, and it changed my life. This is more than the story of how the Tuohy’s took in Michael Oher, an African-American teen who is the centre of the movie and book The Blind Side—In a Heartbeat outlines the Tuohy’s philosophy of community service. It is an unbelievable, motivating journey that any reader should take.
• 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik 
There are many lessons to be learned in this little book that shows how an over-stressed, bankrupt lawyer got his life back on track by writing a thank you note every day for a year. This inspiring read demonstrates how important gratitude is every day of the year. Make the month of December meaningful with one of these great reads.
Next week: The best holiday read you’ll ever find.


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